Brothers

24 Jun

Back in the late 1970’s I was studying Zoology at Manchester University when my younger brother Tim came up to study… Zoology. He is now Head of Life sciences at the British Museum of Natural History. I have two other younger brothers-from-another-mother; Nathan a Geologist working in Australia and Simon – like me, and our Dad a chippy – he lives in California (and has just become a dad for the second time).
This piece incorporates some of the wood from the crates my brother Tim shipped his belongings in back from Jamaica. The doors to be precise are made from Blue Mahoe:

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The rest of the cabinet is composed of American oak (legs, side panels and shelved), and the top is made of native figured ash;

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I felled and machined this piece of timber from a wind blown ash tree blocking a footpath in Chancet Wood in 2005. This is a lovely ribbon of ancient woodland skirting the historic Mercian/Northumbrian border in Sheffield. The plank comes from the central section if a heavily leaning branch – hence the striated figuring which looks like watered silk.
The timber has been air dried for 8 years in my workshop. A worthwhile wait.
I decided to keep the waney edge of the plank, because it seemed faintly sacrilegious to cut it off square.

This is a multicultural cabinet, a cupboard of the Commonwealth and United Nations if you will. Like my brothers and I, parts of us have travelled far and wide, parts have grown deep roots, but all of us come from a little wood.

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And here they are: Dad(The Littlewood) Nathan, Henk, Tim and Simon. All chips off the old block.

4 Responses to “Brothers”

  1. universalpeacepipedreamer July 3, 2013 at 9:28 am #

    Hi Henk, Awesome piece, I really like how the different woods compliment one another. I could get lost in the top piece for hours. It would have been tragic to cut of the wild edge. Great story, too. You all look like some hip chips. Peace J.A.M.

    • woodenhenk July 3, 2013 at 8:10 pm #

      Cheers!
      How’s it going with you?
      H

      • universalpeacepipedreamer July 4, 2013 at 3:56 pm #

        Good thanks. Henk I was wondering if you had a favorite wood to work with ? My favorite, has got to be madrone, It grows on the pacific coast, between Sanfrancisco and B.C. It’s a challenging wood, but worth it . When visiting your brother have you been able to get up into The Redwood Forest ? Peace J.A.M.

  2. woodenhenk July 4, 2013 at 6:04 pm #

    Well….now you come to mention it, this October I am taking my wife over to San Francisco for her 50th birthday to visit my little bro’, Simon Littlewood and his lovely family. It is the first time I will have been back to the USA since the late 1980’s. I shall bring something home made over for you if you like.
    My favourite wood is probably burr elm, closely followed by yew and ripple maple/sycamore. To be honest there is no wood I don’t feel some empathy with, much like you with the materials you like to work with.

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